- WNBA star Britney Grenier was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison on Thursday.
- She had been detained since February and accused of smuggling drugs into Russia.
- Her lawyer said she was “shattered” and could barely speak, and that they were planning to appeal.
Her lawyers said WNBA star Britney Greiner was “devastated” after she was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia.
In an interview after a Moscow judge delivered her ruling, Griner’s legal team attorney, Maria Blagovolina, said they were only expecting a half-term sentence.
Greiner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in Russia in late February, when customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport said they found e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage.
Her sentence was the maximum sentence for drug smuggling, which can be up to ten years.
Maria Blagovolina, one of Greiner’s lawyers, “is very upset, and very stressful,” Reporters after the session. “She can barely speak. It’s a difficult time for her.”
Blagovolina Likewise said people: “She’s devastated. She’s so upset and frankly she’s so shocked, so she needs to come to terms with what happened today.”
Blagovolina and Alexander Boikov, another of Griner’s attorneys, told People magazine that Griner’s nine-year prison sentence was twice what they expected. planning to appeal, Bloomberg And the DailyMail.com mentioned.
Greiner changed her guilty plea in July, more than four months after her arrest, in an apparent move to a plea for leniency that largely went unheeded.
Blagovolina said she was bombing herself, and told reporters that Greiner referred to her judgment day as “doomsday.” The conviction rate in Russian courts is 99%, and experts told Insider’s Meredith Cash ahead of Griner’s hearings that the outcome they got was likely “predetermined.”
President Joe Biden called Greiner’s statement “unacceptable.” Last week his administration proposed a prisoner exchange for her, showing Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer, Greiner and former US Navy Commander Paul Whelan.
The White House said the Kremlin responded with a counter-offer that included another convict, calling it “a bad faith attempt to avoid a very serious offer and proposal by the United States.”
An American official said People On Thursday they were “still waiting” for Russia to respond to the original offer while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov He said on Friday Russia was “willing to discuss” the proposal but only through private diplomatic channels.
Griner’s lawyers told People that she has not been able to speak to any friends or family, including his wife Cheryl, since the sentencing, but that she has “permission” to do so and is hoping for a call next week.
A video from ESPN showed the team Griner, Phoenix Mercury and their opponents Connecticut Sun hold 42 seconds Greiner was silent – a reference to her jersey number – during their game on Thursday.